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On the Threshold: Time and the Speaking Subject in Harold Pinter’s Silence

Beatrice Nori


The article investigates Harold Pinter’s play Silence from a linguistic and phenomenological point of view. Silence is probably one of the least studied – though one of the most difficult and compelling – of Pinter’s plays. The author iden­tifies the broken syntax and the combi­nation of utterances and silences as indicators of time and space shifts. She claims that the patchwork which appears from the structure of the play depicts the loss of logic, and that the abandonmen­t of chronological time in linguistic terms conveys the subjecti­ve, circular, and illogical elemen­t of the human experience of time. Characters’ bodies and utterances materialize both their own past recollections and their presen­t experiences. The presen­t work may be useful to theatre scholars as an example of drama as a portrayal of philosophical and linguistic theories about time and discourse. 


English Drama; Harold Pinter; Discourse; Phenomenology; Time and Space

Full Text:


DOI: https://doi.org/10.7358/ling-2017-001-nori

Copyright (©) 2017 Beatrice Nori – Editorial format and Graphical layout: copyright (©) LED Edizioni Universitarie


Linguæ & - Rivista di lingue e culture moderne
Registered by Tribunale di Milano (06/04/2012 n. 185)
Online ISSN 1724-8698 - Print ISSN 2281-8952

Dipartimento di Scienze della Comunicazione, Studi Umanistici e Internazionali: Storia, Culture, Lingue, Letterature, Arti, Media
Università degli Studi di Urbino Carlo Bo

Editor-in-Chief: Roberta Mullini
Editorial Board: Maurizio Ascari - Stefano Beretta - Antonio Bertacca- Tania Collani - Chiara Elefante - Marina Guglielmi - Maryline Heck - Richard Hillman - Reinhard Johler - Stephen Knight - Cesare Mascitelli - Sonia Massai - Aurélie Moioli - Maria de Fátima Silva - Bart Van Den Bossche 

Editorial Staff: Margaret Amatulli - Alessandra Calanchi - Riccardo Donati - Ivo Klaver  - Massimiliano Morini - Antonella Negri - Luca Renzi

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